Wednesday, May 19, 2010

to have and to hold

Elena held on to Thorunn’s stable arm as they entered the banquet hall, the throng of other guests sweeping them along. She couldn’t help but feel elated. It was a new sensation to be on a man's arm in public, and such an arm! She shuddered to think of the men it had slain. Though, it was his left arm, she mused, and perhaps was perhaps not as deadly as his right. Elena and her father had ridden this morning from Frjóey, to get to Jolgeir today. It had made for a solid days riding even with their party's experience and had taken from dawn until the sun was midway overhead. As they dismounted, Elena had assumed they would be greeted by only a small council and larger festivities kept til the morrow. Olrick had at that moment informed her that the eve of the battle was this very day. She hadn’t expected to be amongst the splendour of the entire household, only a few hours hence.
In truth, her legs ached. She was sure to have blisters on her dainty feet. Elena wasn’t aware that a day in the cool spring air had added a glow to her cheeks and a warmth to her brown eyes. Her young face shone with the pleasure of exertion, easily mistaken for vigorous enthusiasm for the nights proceedings. It leant her the charming air of a novice, though she was not out of step with large functions such as this and could conduct herself beautifully.
Elena gazed about at the grand quarters. Every torch had been lit, every surface scrubbed clean until it sparkled and the room was rapidly filling up with men and women, musicians and story tellers, creating a buzz about her. At her side Thorunn kept his steady pace. She was glad of his calm company and the assistance of his leather-bound arm. She found his forearm pleasingly cool to touch.
He cut a striking figure, strong and solid in contrast to the colourful bussle and hum. Tonight he wore rich, soft leather. Beside him, Elena’s corset accentuated her creamy breasts. Her creamy orbs thrust themselves into a provocative association with eye level. In deep green that suited her pale complexion, she couldn’t have known her loveliness, or how his great form at her side lent her the look of an exquisite flower in a storm.
The image was not lost on her father, Olrick. He watched as they entered the great hall. Though the conversation carried on at his table and other great men bent his ear with hearty greetings; pride kept his eyes on his daughter and ultimately, tonight, he was pleased.
Today should have been the first day of spring carnival and the hall was full to bursting. Tomorrow most of the men of fighting age would be riding out to protect Jolgeir, the great castle playing host to tonights festivities. They rode against the mighty barbarian army threatening to take a strong hold in these lands. Olrick's features wrinkled in distaste. He redirected his mind to pleasanter thoughts and his gaze once again settled on his daughter. For tonight, and for this special occasion, Elena had been bejewelled in the most exquisite examples of his previous successful campaigns. Great charms the colour of sea water glistened on her neck and shimmering strands of the finest silver hung suspended in glorious tributes at her throat. On each finger a ring, each more spectacular and more beautiful than the last. No woman in the hall had anything to equal her rosy complexion, gleaming hair and sparkling jewels.

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